Sunday morning, 20 August 2023, representatives from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam joined Consul General Behzad Babakhani, Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Phan Van Mai and representatives of the Vietnamese government, organizations and units at the Saigon Zoo & Botanical Gardens in an event that was part of the many activities in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Canada and Vietnam (21 Aug 1973 - 21 Aug 2023) called the "Golden Milestone".
As part of the "Golden Milestone" program, the Organizing Committee awarded 50 scholarships and gifts, worth 2 million VND each, to underprivileged students; giving a "friendship gift" worth 1 million VND/piece to 50 Vietnamese and Canadian students in Ho Chi Minh City.
On this occasion, the Vietnam - Canada Friendship Association in Ho Chi Minh City also coordinated with sponsors to give Mid-Autumn Festival gifts and school supplies to 1,400 students with difficult circumstances in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces e.g. Long An, An Giang, each gift is worth 1.5 million VND.
As part of this event, the Consulate General of Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam also presented the Inukshuk statue - a symbol belongs to the Inuit people, Canada to mark the close and lasting friendship of the two countries.
On 11 August 2023, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee has approved the placing of the Inukshuk statue of the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City in the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Canada.
The artist created the Inukshuk statue - Mr. Koomuatuk Curley, brought the smaller, grey stone in the middle of the Inukshuk with him to Vietnam to put in the middle of the statue, all the way from Dorset Island, Nunavut, Canada - nearly 12,000 km away!
The Inukshuk symbol originates from the Indigenous Canadian culture, associated with the Inuit Aboriginal people in the Northwest region of this country.
The Inukshuk statue consists of stone blocks stacked into the shape of a man with arms outstretched with many meanings, of which the basic is to show direction or a sustainable connection. It is known that the Government of Canada has donated or contributed to building Inuksuk as a national symbol in a number of countries such as the United States, Norway, Mexico, Australia ...
Inukshuk not only had various meanings, they were also built with various shapes and sizes. Formations known as inuksummarik, for example, tended to be much bigger than most inukshuk and thus were used as navigational points. In contrast, a style called tikkuuti was built as a directional marker and often consisted of triangular-shaped rocks lined all along the ground (this represented the direction one should travel). The most well-known inukshuk formations, which resemble large humans, are referred to as inunnguaq, and have tended to be more symbolic.
While the Inuit embrace modern lifestyles today, the Inukshuk remains a prominent icon of Inuit heritage and Canadian pride. The Canadian territory of Nunavut has one emblazoned this on its flag. The Canadian embassy in Washington, DC has a large inukshuk statue, so does the Pearson International Airport in Toronto. In 2010, an inunnguaq was used as inspiration for the official logo of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Inukshuk served many purposes, one of them being to show travelers that they weren't alone on their path, and that someone had previously stood where they are standing. With such powerful impact, it is no wonder that people are still so awed by the ancient creation that is Inukshuk. [source: https://blog.culturalelements.com/what-is-an-inukshuk/ ]